Imposter Syndrome Transcript

Vy Tran:
Hi everyone. My name is Vy Tran and I am a doctoral psychology intern at Texas Woman's University Counseling and Psychological Services. I'm here today to talk to you about impostor syndrome and how you can maximize your leadership potential by overcoming your self-doubt. Have you ever felt like, "Oh man. I'm not supposed to be here. How do I even get here? How do I even compare to these people around me?" That's a very normal and common feeling.

So today we're just going to go over some definitions of imposter syndrome characteristics, and how that manifests in your leadership potential in high achieving individuals. Identifying some personal triggers that you may have and thinking about some coping strategies and how we can manage these feelings.

Albert Einstein once said, "The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler." So I just want to ask you to sit and reflect on this quote for a little minute and think about who it is coming from.

What is imposter syndrome? What do you know about it? It came from Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes from Georgia State University. They coined it to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies. So what this can mean is that it's a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persists despite evident success. You may feel like you're nervous or scared of being exposed as a fraud in your work or school.

You can have chronic self-doubt about yourself, in what you're capable of. Feeling like you have a sense of intellectual fraudulence, which overrides any feeling of successes or evidence of competence. You may have difficulties internalizing the good things that you do or the accomplishments that you have, despite how successful you are or how good you are at your job or what you know.

Who is likely to get imposter syndrome? More people than you think. It could come from high achieving high successful people, such as yourself. You're a motivated student leader. It doesn't necessarily equate to low self-esteem or lack a of self-confidence, it's moreso tied to perfectionism. And this is more pertinent in women in an academic setting such as graduate school, your master's program, your PhD program. If you ever want to become a professor, there's a lot of those who experience imposter syndrome as well. Also, men can experience it too.

What triggers these feelings? There are so many variables. Common thoughts and feelings that you may have. I must not fail. I feel like a fake. It's all down to luck. Success is not a big deal. Do people like me? Am I smart enough to be here? I'm not meant to be in this position. So I just want you to sit and think about what are some common thoughts and feelings you may have.

It can come internally. Most people don't want to talk about their feelings because they're scared of being found out that they don't belong in the space that they are in. It could stem from your childhood. And those who have imposter syndrome may have grown up in households where your achievements were emphasized. Especially with people, parents, or parental figures who are sending you mixed messages of praise and criticism.

It could come from societal pressure to achieve and do well. That can increase your sense of imposter syndrome. So for example, women in leadership. If you're surrounded by men who are highly successful and overriding your statements, it could feel like, am I even supposed to be here? Do I belong? Am I even smart enough?

So how do they manifest? Since perfectionism is tied to imposter syndrome, it could typically lead to two responses. So one, you can procrastinate where there's a high pressure to do really well and achieve, can cause you to wait until the last minute. Or you can be an over-preparer, which means that this anxious feeling of, I have to be perfect. I need to do everything exactly right. Which causes you to spend a lot more time on your paper, your project, your presentation, more than you should have.

So what can you do to manage these feelings? Recognizing when these feelings come up. Awareness is so important to be able to recognize when you have these thoughts. And maybe, if you like to just track those thoughts down and when they come up for you. Is it before a presentation? Is it before you go into a meeting? Have an open dialogue with others. Discuss with people how you feel. And that could be very difficult because you may not want others to know that you're having a difficult time. But it could feel very connecting when others share that they have similar experiences as you.

Finding support. Know that you don't always have to do everything by yourself. Having someone there can help you process these emotions and these feelings. Being more self-compassionate. Learning how to forgive yourself for the mistakes that you've made. And celebrate the things that you do, do well. And be your biggest cheerleader. Celebrate when you made a good grade. But also other times where it's very small and not as significant.

Remember the things that you do well in. So sit down, assess your personal qualities, identify what you are good at, and then list specific facts about those qualifications. A lot of times we tend to compare ourselves with others. But I want you to reflect on yourself and what it took for you to get here in this position and in this place. Know what you're capable of bringing to the table. Understand that you will not have it all together and that's okay. Focus on your strengths and what you can bring and what you can offer.
Stop comparing yourself to others. It's so easy to sit back and compare ourselves with another person, like, "Oh my gosh, they have so much more achievements than I do. They say this thing so well. They do this so well." But it could impact us negatively. And understand that people have very different journeys. And a lot of people have different ways of getting about to where they are now. Understand that humans are imperfect. Know that most people won't always feel confident, even in things that they are considerably the expert in. Acknowledged that self doubt is a normal reaction.

Rethink your failures, where you're framing, those failures as an area of growth and learn for the future. It's a lot easier to sit back and dwell on what we did wrong and how we failed, but being able to reframe that situation as like, okay, where can I grow? What can I learn from this particular situation? Visualize your success. Imagine completing the task. Think about the outcome to keep your self-focus. Reframe your thinking. Remind yourself that it's normal not to have everything right the first time. And that you don't have to know everything immediately.

Talk to a therapist. We are here at CAPS just to support you academically, professionally and personally. So contact us at 940-898-3801 to schedule intake so that you have is confidential and unbiased placed to process these experiences, and talk to someone who can provide him empathetic care.

All right. That is all for my presentation today. I hope that you've gained something from the presentation. And I hope you have a wonderful day. Bye.

Page last updated 4:08 PM, October 5, 2020